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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006 Aug;18(4):351-7. Epub 2006 Jun 16.

Spatio-temporal segregation of Ras signals: one ship, three anchors, many harbors.

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  • 1European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


Dynamic assembly of spatially separated signaling platforms enables a cell to tune cellular outputs in response to different input stimuli. Understanding how a vast diversity in signaling responses can be generated from a limited protein repertoire requires knowledge of how cells maintain the segregation of proteins and thereby orchestrate their local activities. Ras proteins are subject to this type of precise regulation of localization, and thus activity, in space and time. A model emerges where different lipid anchors dynamically shuttle Ras between specific membrane compartments, where differences in the accessibility of signaling environments and in the residence time of Ras therein account for isoform-specific signaling responses.

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